LabCentral Ignite Honors Local Leaders with First Annual BioDiversity Awards
October 11, 2022 | By Gretchen Cook Anderson
At LabCentral Ignite, we just hosted our inaugural bioDiversity Summit & Awards. The two-day event brought together more than 250 life sciences leaders, professionals, and students to share experiences and perspectives that can help us tap talented individuals from underrepresented communities and create a more diverse workforce to meet the fast-growing employment demands in our field. The event culminated in our first annual bioDiversity Awards Dinner, which was held in a gorgeous space graciously provided by BioMed Realty in the heart of Kendall Square.
“BioMed was honored to host the first annual bioDiversity Awards, and celebrate meaningful progress in DEI in the life sciences with the LabCentral Ignite team at 650 East Kendall Street last week. 650 Kendall Street is one of four, soon to be five, buildings within our Canal District Kendall campus where the Cambridge community continues to be at the forefront of our development and operational plans.” Laura Tower, Regional Director, Property Management, East Coast. Check out more details from Laura below about BioMed Realty’s growing Canal District Kendall campus and its emerging spaces that are poised to foster greater engagement with the surrounding diverse community.
During the dinner, we announced our first annual bioDiversity Awards winners honoring local leaders and organizations that have shown a commitment to facilitating more Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in this industry. The winners were pre-selected by a panel of life sciences and Boston area community leaders, based on the following criteria:
- Raising and deepening awareness of racial, gender and other underrepresentation in the life sciences
- Actively working to address underrepresentation in the life sciences by increasing opportunities and eliminating barriers for women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented groups.
- Developing and implementing DEI best practices
- Advocating for social justice and intercultural awareness
Here’s a brief look at the winners in all five categories and how they embody the outcomes-based mission of our bioDiversity Awards:
Ted W. Love Award for Impact on Life Sciences Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Carolina is the founder and principal of BioStrategy Advisors, LLC, a strategic business consulting firm for small and medium-sized biotech and medtech companies in the Massachusetts area. Born in Lima, Peru and a resident of the Boston area for 27 years, her life’s focus is on bringing healthcare innovations to patients around the world and helping Latinx professionals succeed in the life sciences industry – both here in the U.S. and in her home country.
To that end, she serves on the Mass General Board of Trustees (MGPO), the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Advisory Board, the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council and the Latinx Council at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is also the co-founder of Latinos In Bio, a group dedicated to creating opportunities for success and amplifying the social capital of Latinx professionals in the biotech, pharmaceutical, medical technology, and other fields within life sciences.
Led by a Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) executive team, Innovators for Purpose (iFp) is a youth design and innovation studio and learning lab in Cambridge, Mass. that is empowering local young people, particularly those from traditionally underrepresented groups, to become innovators who create a positive impact in the world.
Its key programs include iFp Studios, which brings together students, ages 14-18, and design creation professionals to work on real-world client-sponsored projects, and iFp Labs, which introduces science and math principles to 12-14-year-old students through their interest in other issues, such as social justice, technology or pop culture
Educational Institution Award
Middlesex Community College (MCC) is helping students get a head start on their professional careers in biotech through the Learn & Earn Experience. Students enrolled in the MCC Biotech program can apply to work with a partner biotech company while completing their associate degree.
Students who are accepted into the program start out as a manufacturing technician at participating employers, which currently include AbbVie, Bristol Meyers, Pfizer, Takeda and Ultragenyx. They have access to a dedicated Learn & Earn support team, employment is conditionally guaranteed for a year with the potential for an eventual permanent position, and they receive a set pay rate with benefits.
Biotech Startup Award
Seismic is a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup that uses machine learning to accelerate immunology drug development through its innovative IMPACT™ Platform.
The company is focused on making an “impact” with breakthrough medicines and also for the causes and communities it is passionate about. Its team of employee-led IMPACTors Initiate diversity awareness and philanthropic and volunteer activities within the company. Seismic also actively hires out of local internship and workforce training programs designed to promote diversity in life sciences job placement.
Biopharma Industry Award
Biogen & the Biogen Foundation
The Biogen Foundation launched the STAR Initiative (Science, Teacher support, Access & Readiness) in 2018 with a $10 million investment to strengthen STEM education ecosystems for public middle and high school students in Cambridge and Somerville, Mass. STAR helps increase access to STEM resources and opportunities for students who are historically underrepresented in STEM college and career pathways, including students of color, those with disabilities or those from under-resourced households.
Biogen’s Community Labs offer free interactive science activities for middle and high school students, summer programs and professional development for teachers so they can continue to reach a diverse array of future STEM leaders with the latest science.
Congratulations to our first annual bioDiversity Award winners! We’re honored to be working in the field alongside these talented, driven people and organizations who are making a difference in shaping the future of our biotech workforce.
More from Laura Tower about BioMed Realty’s Canal District Kendall Campus
The fifth building in our Canal District Campus, which many of the LabCentral Ignite guests had the opportunity to see underway on their way to the awards ceremony, is 585 Kendall, a 600,000 square foot leading-edge research and development project located at 585 Third Street, and soon to be the home of Takeda, one of LabCentral’s Founding Sponsors. In 2026, BioMed will deliver 16 stories of advanced and efficient lab office space to expand Takeda’s campus in Kendall Square, as well as a 400-seat performing arts center in a partnership with Global Arts Live. In addition to ticketed events, the theater will offer free programming that reflects the diversity of Cambridge ensuring the general public can enjoy the result of this community-driven process.
About the Ted W. Love Award for Impact on Life Sciences Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Ted. W. Love, MD, has spent his career as a medical doctor, biotech executive, health equity advocate, and most recently as President & CEO of Global Blood Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on addressing sickle cell disease with novel therapeutics. We believe he embodies a commitment to DEI progress through his own career contributions, service to patients and the public, focus on scientific advancements to care for patients with sickle cell disease, and thought leadership in the field that we know has inspired others.